What’s the deal with the Quaker Oats man? Who is he? Is he an actual real person?
On my way back from the hospital I could see his stupid smug face staring up at me from my shopping bag. ‘What the hell is he so happy about’ I thought. Knob.
On further investigation, I discovered he wasn’t supposed to represent an actual person but in 1909 the ‘Quaker Man’ was identified as William Penn, the 17th-century philosopher and early Quaker, who I thought, bore a striking resemblance to Danny Devito’s Penguin in Batman Returns. That being said, today’s ‘Quaker Man’ doesn’t seem to resemble either William Penn or Penguin, so what the hell?
Jumping forward to 1969, I was surprised to learn that the ‘Quaker Man’ now known as ‘Larry’ by insiders at Quaker Oats, was illustrated by Saul Bass, a famous American graphic designer, known for his iconic poster art and film title sequences. Okay so ‘Quaker Oats Man’ has gone up in my estimation but I still hate him, stupid hat wearing twat. STOP SMILING AT ME!
Anyway, enough about the ‘Quaker Oats Man’, lets talk roasties because Christmas Day is literally this week, AGH! For the first time ever, I’ll be making Christmas dinner, I mean how hard can it be right? If you get the roast potatoes right you can’t go far wrong… Roast potatoes… Shit. I’ve never actually made roast potatoes before. Okay so a little practice was in order but after several attempts, I am now the proud owner, of a roast potato recipe that makes crispy, fluffy roasties without drowning them in oil. I prefer to save my calories for mince pies thank you. Oh, and if you want to know what I’m making for Christmas dinner, then check out my blog on the 23rd of December for a special Christmas post and recipe.
Light & crispy roast potatoes Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hour 10 mins / V VnDf 1 kg potatoes (roughly 4 baking potatoes)
1 tsp of rapeseed oil
1 ½ tsp plain flour
Few sprigs of thyme (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Cut 4 large baking potatoes into 4 evenly sized pieces (I leave the skins on mine but you can peel them if you prefer). Put in a large saucepan and fill with cold water just covering the potatoes. Season well with salt and bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 2 minutes
2. Once boiled, pour the potatoes into a colander and give them a good shake to rough them up a bit. Add one and half teaspoons of flour and give them another good shake until evenly covered.
3. Tip out onto a baking tray and drizzle evenly with oil. Give it a toss until well covered. Season well with salt and scatter a few thyme sprigs on top.
5. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes before removing and giving a second shake. Return to the oven and roast for a further 25 minutes, shaking halfway through. Discard the thyme storks and serve as part of a roast dinner.
If you’ve had a go at making my roast potatoes or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com
My quest to cook the perfect egg continues with ‘poaching’. Yes my friends, the scariest of all the egg cooking methods but why are we all so afraid? I think poaching an egg always seems like the riskiest option, especially when you only have two eggs left, no no, better play it safe a fry the little blighters.
But if you want to take a chance then you have to make a few tough decisions. To vinegar or not to vinegar? To swirl the water or not to swirl? Frying pan or saucepan? Refrigerated or room temperature? Boil or simmer? AGHHH JUST FORGET IT!
I hear you people, I hear you, poaching an egg can be a very stressful time in ones life, I don’t blame you for frying, it’s a natural reflex. But if I told you there’s a way of poaching an egg that won’t make you run for the hills? No no, I’m not a mad idiot, I’m a just a girl who wants poached eggs for breakfast and this is where my story begins…
One blustery but warm Autumnal morning, I rise from my sleeping quarters to find my housemate Isabelle in the kitchen. It’s a small kitchen, with a blue tiled floor which feels cold on the soles of my feet. She delicately stirs a spoonful of sugar into her tea, I can’t help but notice her slender bird like hands. There’s a small frying pan simmering away with what looks like two cloudy white orbs floating on the surface, like two boats on a calm sea… But they are not boats, oh no, Isabelle is making POACHED EGGS!
“ARE YOU POACHING EGGS???!!! HOW THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THAT???!!! I screech, my eyes wide with shock.
“Yeah, it’s easy, I’ll show you” she says… And she did. So now I will show you my dear friends. Hold onto your hats, it’s going to be wild.
Perfectly Poached Eggs Serves 1 / Takes 10 minutes
You’ll need: One small frying pan
2 medium eggs at room temperature (fresh is always best and does make a difference. I find older egg whites spread more in the pan, as do refridgerated ones.)
1. Fill your small shallow frying pan with boiling water leaving a 1 centimetre at the top. Bring to the boil and reduce to a low simmer. You want the water to be as still as possible to avoide a fluffy egg white situation.
2. Crack one egg into a small cup and then gently pour it into the water. Don’t panic if it spreads a bit, just try and keep it to one side. Repeat with the other egg on the other side of the pan. Don’t worry if they look like they’re touching, you can always separate them with your spoon once cooked.
3. Leave them to set for about a minute and if you can see the yolk is popping above the water (see above) gently submerge your eggs under water by placing your slotted spoon over the top of them for about 10/20 seconds (see below).
4. You’re eggs should take around two minutes to cook so get your toast ready pronto! I don’t want to tell you how long they’ll take exactly as it can vary, just don’t take your eyes off the pan or you’ll overcook them. When they’re done they should look like the above picture.
5. Once cooked, remove one egg at a time with a slotted spoon, allow to drain over the frying pan for a few seconds and pop onto a couple of sheets of kitchen towel.
6. Prepare your toast (I like sourdough toast brushed with a garlic clove and topped with avocado). Once your eggs are cooled a little I tend to just pick them up with my hands to avoid breaking the yolks. Pop on top of your toast and serve.
If you’ve had a go at making my poached eggs or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
Frodo’s quest was to return the ring to Mordor, mine is to learn how to cook the perfect soft boiled egg. The humble egg and solider is a throw back to my childhood, a Saturday morning treat that my mum, and mum’s the world over just seem to know how to do, it’s a frickin conspiracy. How do they manage to get those gooey golden yolks with immaculately set whites every time? Egg boiling freaks! Mine are either too hard or too snotty (nothing worse than a snotty egg).
Anyway, so boiling an egg is easy right? Yes, even a hamster could do it (if it was some kind of horrible giant hamster that could reach a hob). Actually, don’t think hamsters even eat eggs so forget that analogy. Anyway, so soft boiling an egg should be easy right? WRONG! I’ve dedicated my life (well, some of my time) to trying and testing different egg boiling methods. So get your egg cups out (or your napkin rings/shot glasses, both of which make excellent egg cups) and lets do this!
Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs and Soldiers Serves 1 / Takes 10 minutes / V You’ll need… 2 medium eggs at room temperature (you can use refrigerated eggs, it doesn’t seem to make much difference).
1. Put two eggs in a small saucepan and fill with cold water. Put on a high heat on a medium ring and cover. Heating the water gradually like this, ensures the eggs gets evenly cooked through, thus preventing a snotty egg white situation.
2. Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to avoid vigorous boiling and start timing. After a minute and a half take out the first egg (you’ll eat this one second). Boil the remaining egg for an extra 30 seconds before removing it.
3. The first egg will continue to cook while you eat the second one, that’s why it’s a good idea to take it out 30 seconds before to prevent the egg hard boiling by its self.
4. I like to eat mine with one slice of marmite on toast and one slice with butter.
If you’ve had a go at making my lasagne or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale email@example.com